Türk Telekom to sell stake, seek acquisition

Türk Telekom to sell stake, seek acquisition

ISTANBUL - Reuters
Türk Telekom to sell stake, seek acquisition

Türk Telekom plans to bring its fiber optics infrastructure to the whole of Turkey by 2015, says CEO Tahsin Yılmaz. Hürriyet photo

Türk Telekom will focus on increasing its value through the privatization of its public shares, according to the company’s newly appointed chief executive (CEO), Tahsin Yılmaz, who took the reigns
on Sept. 4.

The company has spared some 300 million euros for regional acquisitions and as part of its new vision will be evaluating acquisition opportunities in the region, Yılmaz said at a press conference, adding, however, that there were currently no concrete projects in the pipeline.

“Our most important priority right now is to increase Türk Telekom’s value,” he said, reminding reporters that the Privatization Board had told the Tender Commission on Sept.13 that Türk Telekom was planning to appoint a consultant to help privatize either all or part of the Treasury’s 31.68 percent stake in the telecommunications company.

Minister Şimşek also onboard

Yılmaz said the company had met with Finance Minister Mehmet Şimşek and that the issue had been raised at this meeting.

“[Şimşek] also expects us to raise Türk Telekom’s value. We will be partners in this effort,” he said.
Turkey’s Privatization Board (ÖİB) will be charged with the privatization of Türk Telekom’s shares.
“The quicker we are able to increase Türk Telekom’s value, the more we will be able to contribute to the governments revenues,” Yılmaz said.

Yesterday’s daily Zaman, meanwhile, reported that Transportation and Communication Minister Binali Yıldırım had said Türk Telekom’s public shares could see an Initial Public Offering (IPO) by the end of the year, and the figure could be less than 15 percent.

The remaining 55 percent of Türk Telekom’s shares are owned by Oger Telekom and 15 percent are open to the public. Yılmaz also told reporters that Türk Telekom had submitted a bid for the FATİH Project’s plan to develop in the intranet infrastructure for 3,600 Turkish schools.

“We are ready to provide all schools with the fiber optic infrastructure. Our negotiations are still continuing,” he said.

Yılmaz also said that their fiber optics investments through the country were continuing, and that they planned to equip all of Turkey with a fiber optic web by the end of 2015.

Finally, Yılmaz said Türk Telekom was focusing on the services area to increase its profitability and as such there would soon be new initiatives in the digital world.